We have been making new Pawz Puppets! The children are so excited to have their own puppets to practice with. All these puppets were made from thrift store stuffed toys and shirts.  The gloves were bought in the winter section of a box store or dollar store. (If you ever need help finding gloves, send me a comment from the link section and include your email address).
 I will introduce you to our new friends, starting with'

Dawgy BrownPawz.

Dawgy BrownPawz is a handsome dog. He sleeps on the end of "Speed's" bed and today he had his portrait taken!
He likes to watch video's with Speed, especially Dr Wonder. He would like to live in a land that was all sign language, because then he could talk to everybody!
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Paulina BunnyPawz

She is a Beautiful  Ballerina who likes to play Barbies with Dolly. She likes to go to the park and play on the slide and swings. She likes to sing as well, and hand signs so all her non hearing friends can enjoy it too!
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Elliott MoosePawz

No, your eyes do not deceive you, this is the childrens book Character Elliott Moose with Pawz.  This is "Dino's" puppet with toddler size pawz, that let him join in  on the fun.  I suspect that in a few years, Elliott MoosePawz will need a new shirt and gloves to accommodate bigger hands but he's perfect for now!
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Don't forget, you can make your own Pawz puppets  by following the link in this blog post!
 
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How do you keep track of all the new signs you are learning? We made ourselves personal size  notebooks and glued in pictures of the signs printed from our internet sources such as DLTK or Lesson Tutor (see links page).  If you can draw (even stick figures), you may even be able to add your own diagrams in a way that you will understand them!
You can also use index cards attached together with small beaners .  This allows you to organize your signs into categories and add new signs.

Don't forget to use you sign language often, so you don't forget your signs. Dolly has, for example started filling in the sermon notes sheet during church.  She can't always read the screen fast enough, so I finger spell her the words to write in. ( I have also signed to the children from the platform if I see them miss behaving!)

We also use our signs when we are sick with colds, so we don't strain our sore throats! And we have used it to talk from a distance in a crowded room. There are many good reasons for learning and using hand signs.
 
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I just posted a play mat tutorial on my personal blog which includes Alphabet games for learning phonics.  You can also use the same rules for practicing your hand signing!  If you don't have sewing skills or the time to sew a quilted mat, you can achieve the same games by printing out page sized alphabet letters to lay on the floor, and a couple of bean bags. (Small beanie babies work GREAT!)  If you use them a lot, you may choose to laminate the letters. Here are the instructions....

Alphabet Signing games
The floor is the pond, and on the pond place pieces of paper  with the letters of the Alphabet.  Use beanbags as "men" and borrow a dice from another game to roll for moves



Games to Play
Depending how old you are and how much you sign, you can play the alphabet game in so many ways.

 

If you are Learning your letters,
roll the die and jump the number of squares. Sign the letter you land on correctly! If you don’t name it correctly the first time, you miss a turn.

  If you are Learning Words,
roll the die and jump the number of squares.  Name a word that starts with that letter and sign it!

If you can spell,
roll the die and jump the number of squares.  Name a word that starts with that letter
  and finger spell   that word correctly. If you are wrong you miss a turn. At your next turn, spell the word correctly before you move the dice to move on.

 

The first person in any game to reach the letter “Z” wins the game!

 

  Beanbag Toss Game  

Decide how many tosses each person gets. Toss a doll, and which ever letter the doll lands on, follow the directions in one of the games above minus the die.

Make a point system if you wish:

 

1 point if you land in water but name a letter close by,

2 points for landing on a lily pad

3 points for landing on a flower

 

Keep score on a chalkboard or paper, and at the end of the tosses, add up the score to see who has the most points


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